Education Career Services

January 11, 2010

“Bio” is Short for “Biography” So Keep It Short!

Robert Swanson,
author, editor, Career Services International and Education Career Services

You’ve been tasked to write a bio for inclusion on a company website.  Don’t panic!  Writing your bio, like any web copy, is all about writing and cutting, and cutting some more.

People don’t read bios.  They start to read and then realize they really don’t care.  With that in mind, brevity is mandatory.  You’re tempted to start with where you were born.  Deny that temptation.  A bio is not about you, it’s about what you offer the reader.

Writing in third person, start with your name (that’s a no-brainer, right? You’d be amazed how many bios omit that vital information).  Establish value and scope right up front.  Use active verbs and include an image for the reader to hang onto.  Mine includes the line “…stitched together by the golden thread of writing…” and I also mention the Space Needle even though I worked there 25 years ago (they don’t need to know that).  For most readers, the Seattle landmark springs to mind.

You’re building a case of value, so consider what’s important to the reader. Finally, wrap it up with a short sentence summarizing what you offer.  The nice thing about bios is if you shift it to first person, it becomes your spoken elevator speech.  My bio is below; how much do you read?

Rob Swanson unites a cross-functional career spanning multiple industries stitched together by the golden thread of writing.  Whether an industrial engineer with Boeing Airplane Company, a retail manager at Seattle’s Space Needle, or an officer with SunTrust Banks, technical writing, instructional design, or copy writing has been integral to each position. 

Following success in these ventures, Rob turned to freelance writing, ghostwriting several books, serving as a marketing consultant, training-video author and director, and lead cover writer for a glossy city magazine.  Holding complimentary certifications in Resume Writing and Adult Learning Methodologies, Rob now leads a talented writing team producing executive portfolios that are highly competitive in today’s market. Gearing content to the needs of hiring managers cross-matched to how adults read, he gives clients a distinct advantage.

No matter your documentary needs, Rob is your go-to writer.

Thank you Robert!  Oddly enough, last week I was commissioned to write four bio’s… perfect timing.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110

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